Taking a DeeperLook

By Laura Groshans | January 26, 2019 | Student Post

Last Thursday, information guru and SOJC assistant professor, Dave Markowitz spoke to our class about just how much information exists about us online. Let’s just say it was enough to make me want to roll up my sleeves and do some serious social media scrubbing.

Dave had us get in pairs and attempt to guess the answer to personal questions about our partner based on the pages they “like” on Facebook. The exercise left many of us shuddering about the laundry lists of random pages we had liked in middle school fits of boredom. I always knew those “liking sprees” would come back to haunt me, I just didn’t realize it would happen in a 400-level college class.

Definition from Urban Dictionary

As if looking at our Facebook likes was not enough to give us nightmares, Dave continued the trend by showing us the website DeeperSense.

DeeperSense is an online platform where you can enter one of your social media handles, and it will generate a personality write-up on you within seconds.

When I submitted my LinkedIn profile to DeeperSense, DeeperSense told me I was “edgy, temperamental and not very considerate of others.” As someone who is going to graduate soon and hopes to get a job, this was a very unnerving moment for me. I immediately began tearing apart my LinkedIn profile to find what could possibly have triggered DeeperSense to say these terrible things about my character.

There was nothing specific on my LinkedIn profile I could trace my alleged “edginess” to, but it was comforting to hear other students in the classroom were also getting roasted by DeeperSense. Dave explained that sites like DeeperSense are not perfect and the personality write-ups are created through algorithms that are intended to make the hiring process easier on employers. The goal is to cut down the amount of time that goes into investigating the social media profiles of each individual applicant.

However, as artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, sites such as DeeperSense will become increasingly accurate and representative of what our posts say about our character.

Ted Talk by comedian Chuck Nice, covers some of the unintended consequences of social media and his predictions for what artificial intelligence could mean for society.

“Steven Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates have all gone on record expressing grave reservations about artificial intelligence. That’s like Jesus, Moses and Mohammed coming together and being like ‘Guys! Guys! Here’s something we can ALL believe in!’…You might want to go with that. That’s all I’m sayin’.”

-Chuck Nice

It can be difficult to gauge how much of your social media content should be personal and how much should be professional. There is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all answer to this, either. As media professionals, we should aim to authentically represent our personal brands without posting horribly offensive content in the process.

This Article Has 5 Comments
  1. Bodie Crist says:

    I think what I like the most about this post is that it adds a human element to these algorithms. It’s easy to assume that they are infallible, but they were written by humans so there is always room for error. Great insights!

  2. Sophia Ferrer says:

    Great post! I too was worried after reading my results from the DeeperSense website. I found that it wasn’t very accurate but don’t doubt that this website along with similar ones will improve and be able to deliver more precise personality descriptions. It’s a pretty neat time-saving tool for hiring managers as long as it’s precise.

  3. Kirbi Campbell says:

    I love the topic of this post, especially relate to the part that we are graduating soon and our social media content always reflects upon us. It has been on my mind a lot lately to be mindful of not only my original content and posts but to also be aware of my likes and retweets as well, everything as we know can be traced back to us. So going from here that will always be in the back of my mind, but it won’t stop me from expressing who I am or what I am into either!

  4. Jessica Baker says:

    Thank you for finding and posting that TED Talk! I loved every second of it, but especially his final point: “Technology isn’t scary; it never has been, it never will be. What’s scary is what we can do with it.”

    I think this is exactly what Dave was driving at when he showed us DeeperSense and what you were highlighting in this post – technology is going to continue to get better at understanding who we are. The question is if we want other people to see what technology sees of us. Scary thoughts…

  5. Molly Mair says:

    Oh, those unintended consequences always seem to bite us in so many ways. I often think the over-sharing on SM is an attempt at connection that is grasping and inefficient. I don’ t think people will one day regret being too private, but maybe that is just me. The TED Talk is great and spot on. I agree humans are the scariest.

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